Shell Sketches Plans for Arctic Drilling in 2015

Thursday, August 28 2014

Shell's tentative exploration plan for 2015 includes the Noble Discoverer drill rig.

Shell Oil took its first step toward returning to the Arctic this morning.

The company filed a new plan to explore the Chukchi Sea with federal regulators in Anchorage.

But as KUCB's Lauren Rosenthal reports, that filing is far from a commitment.

Landfill Contract Goes to Northern Alaska, Amid Debate

Wednesday, August 27 2014

Unalaska’s construction companies turned out in force Tuesday night to hear city council take up longstanding issues with contracting.

The council delved into their criteria for selecting contractors, and debated who to hire for one controversial job: the landfill expansion. Council had awarded the contract to Northern Alaska Contractors earlier this year, but they scrapped the agreement after a complication at the worksite.

Alaska Politicians Float Russian Fish Embargo

Tuesday, August 26 2014

Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB

Alaska’s congressional delegation is pressing for a quick resolution to the country's seafood standoff with Russia.

The politicians sent a letter to President Barack Obama today, asking him to pick up the pace of negotiations so Russia will drop their import ban on American fish. But if diplomats can’t make that happen, the Alaska delegation wants to see a ban on Russian seafood entering the United States.

Council Could Expand Powers for Rejecting Low Bidders

Tuesday, August 26 2014

Unalaska’s city council will consider expanding their power to reject low bidders for city projects at their meeting tonight.

Right now, the council has to explain their reasoning if they award a contract to someone other than the lowest bidder. An ordinance up for discussion tonight would give them more reasons to choose from.

They include a company’s conduct during meetings, or whether a contractor’s asked for ”grossly inflated” amounts of extra payment in the past.

Summer Quake Spurs Researchers to Amchitka

Monday, August 25 2014

Amchitka Island (Courtesy of USFWS)

A team of scientists is descending on a former nuclear test site in the Aleutians today to look for damage from a massive earthquake.

The 7.9 quake that struck this June was pretty close to the old nuclear sites at Amchitka, according to the federal site manager.

Emergency Housing Ministry Looks to Grow

Monday, August 25 2014

Alexandria House is building an apartment and commercial space for rent in the old Elbow Room bar. (Annie Ropeik/KUCB)

Unalaska attracts thousands of transient workers every year, lured by the promise of a steady paycheck.

But marine industry jobs can fall through — leaving people stuck with no shelter, and no money to fly home.

Community groups -- like Alexandria House, run by the Unalaska Christian Fellowship -- have stepped up to help.

Now, as KUCB’s Annie Ropeik reports, they're ready to expand their safety net for stranded workers.

Competition Set for City Council Seat

Friday, August 22 2014

The race has begun for a seat on Unalaska’s city council.

Yudelka Leclere has filed to run against incumbent Dennis Robinson for council seat B.

It’s the first time someone's officially challenged a sitting councilor in three years. But for now, it's the only contested race set for this fall. 

Zoya Johnson is running unopposed to keep city council seat E. When Leclere first filed her paperwork this week, she'd planned to run against Johnson. But she changed her mind just before Friday's deadline, according to city clerk Cat Hazen.

Alaska Seafood Companies Seek Retaliatory Ban on Russian Fish

Friday, August 22 2014

A pallet of raw surimi at UniSea's plant in Unalaska. UniSea planned to export about 500 tons of raw surimi to Russia this season. (Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB)

It’s been just over two weeks since Russia banned imports of American food products into its country. Now, Alaska’s seafood industry is asking the U.S. government to strike back.

Terry Shaff is the president of UniSea -- one of 10 major processing companies that’s lobbying to get Russian seafood kicked out of the United States.

Planning Proposes Relaxing Subdivision Rules

Friday, August 22 2014

After months of debate on the city’s rules for dividing land into new lots, the planning department thinks it’s found a solution to landowners’ concerns.

Planning commissioners got an update on revisions to city zoning code -- also known as Title 8 -- at their meeting Thursday night. It was the first time they've met since council asked for an overhaul of the zoning changes last month.

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